Syed Sajid Ahmad, in a Nov. 30 Forum column, quoted many peaceful verses from the Quran, of which there are many. Unfortunately for humanity, all those peaceful verses are superseded or negated by violent verses, such as (2:191/193). "Kill them whereever you find them. Disbelief is worse than killing." These verses advocate killing anyone who isn't a Muslim. If you're a Muslim and want to leave Islam, the Quran says in (4:89) "Apostasy is death."
According to Islamic theology, verses in the Quran which Muhamad received later in his life negate verses received earlier in his life, when dealing with the same subject. All peaceful verses were written before the violent verses, so they may as well not be in the Quran at all.
Also, the Quran isn't the only basis for Islamic doctrine. The sayings and actions of Muhamad are also very important. For example, apostasy, the leaving of Islam, was dealt with by Muhamad with the execution of many thousands of people. If Muhamad hadn't done that, Islam might not exist today.
Ahmad mentions in his letter that death for apostasy, meaning death for those who leave Islam, is an ISIL/Al-Qaida/Taliban idea. If that's the case, Muhamad was the first ISIL leader, because as stated earlier, Muhamad put many apostates to death.
Islam doesn't claim that Muhamad was anything but a prophet who received revelations from God. Islam's God changed his mind frequently and seemed to become more angry as time went on. Ahmad knows all this, and yet he keeps telling us that Islam is a religion of peace; which is what many people want to believe.
If you want to see how Islam takes over a nation or a society, go to the suburbs of Paris and see how Islam smothers out anything that isn't Islamic or Shariah. The constant threat of violence breeds fear and thus, conformity with Sharia law.
It seems that Ahmad is replacing reality with wishes. Wouldn't it be nice if Islam were truly a religion of love and peace? By the way, that's what President Bush and many Christian preachers said about Islam after 9/11.
It appears that Ahmad, along with the president of Egypt and a small percentage of other Muslims, want to change Islam into a peaceful religion. For the sake of humanity, let's hope that they are successful in that endeavor.
Islam must change fundamentally if is to become a peaceful religion. That won't happen if we keep our heads in the sand and refuse to recognize the truth about Islam's inherent violence.
Culp lives in Fargo.